Not too long ago, I wrote up a popular blogpost outlining all the options for free and inexpensive mesh avatar heads and bodies for female avatars. So I thought it was time I did the same thing for male avatars.
First, let’s just recap all the free/inexpensive mesh avatar bodies for men:
- The two versions of the free Altamura Max avatars at the freebie stores at UniHispana Crea and Ajuda SL Brasil (see here for more details). Note that you cannot remove the head to replace it with another mesh head.
- The free Altamura Robert avatar from the Freebie Megastore at London City (see here for more details). One advantage of this body is that you can remove the head to use another mesh head with it (like the recent freebie mesh head from Akeruka).
- The free Altamura Tommy avatar at the Altamura mainstore (you do need to join the Altamura group for L$50 to get this freebie; see here for more details). Again, you cannot remove the head to replace it with another mesh head.
- If you were lucky, you picked up a free Altamura avatar called Aaron, which was a limited-time TeleportHub.com gift late last year at their mainstore (you had to join the TeleportHub.com group for L$10 to pick up this freebie). You can remove the head to use another mesh head with it.
- Finally, there is the freebie version of the EXMACHINA avatar (which you can “tan” to any skin tone you wish; more information is available here). Note that this avatar does not come with a HUD so you cannot remove the head or set any alpha sections. You basically have to buy all your clothing from EXMACHINA (although the free body does come in a version with a built-in bathing suit, so it’s the perfect freebie mesh avatar for the beach!).
- UPDATE Oct. 5th: Rick Bijkerk of the Secondlife Facebook group alerted me to two inexpensive male mesh avatar head and body packages from Alantori. More details on this option can be found at the very end of this blogpost!
So, let’s take a look at free or inexpensive mesh heads.
If you haven’t yet joined the Akrueka group (called [AK] Heads News & Support) for L$150, you should really consider it. If you had joined the Akeruka mesh heads group a year and a half ago, you would have picked up no less than six fully-adjustable Bento mesh heads (three female and three male), all for a single group join fee of L$150. That works out to only L$25 per Bento mesh head, a truly outstanding deal! So join the Akeruka group and keep your eyes peeled for announcements of free Bento mesh heads every six months or so 😉
If you missed out on the Akeruka freebies, you can pick up a very handsome Bento mesh head from LV Designs for only L$500. The Matt head (SL Marketplace link) may not come with all the bells and whistles of the pricier Bento mesh heads from Catwa and other vendors, but it certainly does the job at one-tenth the cost, as you can see:
Now, let’s look at the free and cheap (non-Bento) mesh heads which are available. Unfortunately, there are very few options available for freebie male mesh heads. First up are two free male mesh heads from Curves (here’s the SLURL):
If you join the Curves group for free, you can pick up the following bearded head called Sam:
And if you join the SL Frees & Offers group for free, you can pick up the cleanshaven Kent mesh head for free:
I’m not crazy about the dark eyeshadow on the Kent head, but it might be more to your taste.
(Note that you cannot adjust the Curves mesh heads, remove the eyeshadow, or change the skintone. They are static mesh heads.)
There’s a free (non-adjustable) mesh head available from the men’s section of the freebie store at Ajuda SL Brasil, the Andrey head from Cheerno (here’s the exact SLURL to find it):
There is a vendor on the SL Marketplace called 300mg, who is selling 6 free mesh heads, of which 5 are for males.
I found that these five heads wouldn’t work with the default system avatar eyes. So you will have to use these heads with a complete body alpha which removes the system eyes, and use mesh eyes instead (such as the ones which are part of the Genesis Lab mesh head packages, or you can pick up this free set of adjustable mesh eyes from eyden & yves, which comes with a 9-colour HUD). Make sure you take a copy of the mesh eyes first and use the copy, as you will have to adjust them to fit each of these heads separately.
The Marcus head comes with an expression HUD with six different facial expressions but, strangely, no ears, so you’ll have to find those elsewhere. I had a great deal of difficulty getting the mesh eyes to fit properly, this is the best I could do:
Honestly, I’d probably give the Marcus head a pass. It’s just too much of a hassle.
However, I did have much better results with the Travis mesh head, which comes with ears and an expression HUD with 6 different facial expressions:
This picture of the Travis head includes the HUD for the freebie mesh eyes from eyden & yves, showing you the nine different colour options which are available:
Here are pictures of the other three free mesh heads from 300mg, which have darker skin tones. Here’s model S1 (again, no ears are included, and there’s no expression HUD either):
Here’s model S2 (which again has no ears, but it does have an expression HUD with 6 different facial expressions). Again, I had a great deal of difficulty getting the mesh eyes to fit properly on this particular head:
And finally, here is model S3 from 300mg (again, there’s no ears, but it does have an expression HUD with 6 different facial expressions):
Media Company Brzeg
Finally, there are some cheap mesh heads for sale on the SL Marketplace by a company called Media Company Brzeg. Here’s one example, a mesh head (called simply model 6) for only L$50:
Now this is a great-looking mesh head, BUT… there’s a big catch. This is a static mesh attachment to the avatar Mouth, and it is not rigged to the body. You will need to wear it with a turtleneck (like in this picture) for it to look any good at all. You will also have to use these heads with a complete body alpha which removes the system eyes, as the eyes are part of the head and cannot be changed. It’s basically a static mask you wear. And there’s also a patch on the back of these mesh heads which you will have to cover with hair of some kind.
Here’s a few more static mesh heads from the same company:
Here’s a head called Chuck for only L$10 (he looks a little blurry, if you ask me):
Wanna look like Vin Diesel? You can for only L$50:
And hey, you wanna look like Vladimir Putin? For L$20 you can!
There’s quite a few other mesh heads available on the SL Marketplace by Media Company Brzeg (both male and female), but these will give you an idea. They’re not rigged to the body, and they’re really not meant to be used as anything but props for photos, if you ask me. Most of the people who bought them have left very poor reviews, so caveat emptor!
Do you know of any other free or inexpensive men’s mesh heads? If you do, please leave me a comment on this blogpost, thank you!
UPDATE Oct. 5th:
Rick Bijkerk of the Secondlife Facegroup group alerted me to an inexpensive male mesh avatar head and body package from a store called Alantori (here’s the exact SLURL):
These mesh bodies are only L$99 (or L$90, a 10% discount, if you join the Alantori group for free). So I bought the clean-shaven Mark body (the sign on the right in the picture above) and tried it on. The body comes with a fully-adjustable Bento head and Bento hands, he’s got a basic HUD with a decent set of alpha selections, and it would appear that you can tint his fingernails and toenails, which are separate attachments:
The body comes with underwear, but you might have some trouble finding clothing to fit this body properly. The sign in the store said that the body “fits all Adin and Onupup clothes”, but I had never heard of those clothing brands before. (I assume that most standard-size male clothing can also be made to fit, with all the alpha selections on the included HUD.)
There is also a tutorial video:
The Alantori body comes with menu-driven facial expressions and hand poses, which is rather different from how most other bodies are animated using an AO. (I tested the Alantori body with a Bento male AO from Tuty’s and it worked just fine.)
Here’s a close-up of the Alantori Mark body’s head, which actually looks pretty good (the mesh eyes are included, or you can just use your system eyes):
In addition to the clean-shaven Mark body, there is also bearded, hairier Paul body for the same price (L$99 without the group, or L$90 with the free group join). It’s definitely an inexpensive option for those of you with limited Lindens to spend on a male mesh body, but you still might want to try out the freebie Altamura bodies first.
Thanks for the great tip, Rick!